Recently, my son received a very special award at school. My husband and I were very proud when we were notified about the award. We received an e-mail that stated the date and time of the program, which was five days away. After reading the e-mail I instantly became anxious because I had a schedule conflict. I was scheduled to be out of town for a work meeting on the same day of the program, and there was no way that I could make both. Instant “mom guilt!”
I became very anxious because I pride myself in being able to balance the life of a working mom, and I had never been faced with choosing work over my son. I have always proclaimed that my son comes before everything! This situation was a first, and I had to figure it out. The anxiety turned into guilt because I knew that making both was impossible and skipping the meeting was not an option. I did not want to request leave and miss the meeting, but I also wanted to be there for my son’s first school award. For two days I created multiple scenarios that I thought could work, but they all concluded with me attending the meeting. And each time I reached that conclusion, I felt an instant gut punch filled with guilt.
I could not take it anymore, so I expressed my issue to my husband. I explained that I was not able to make the program. He responded by stating that the bright side of this entire situation is that there will be more award programs. I held on to that reassurance and coated my guilt with the belief that more good things are to come. I also promised that I would stop placing so much pressure on myself.
There will be more programs, more meetings, and more instances where I will have to choose. I now trust that my presence at my son’s events does not personify the love I have for him, but the fact that my actions fill his heart with the love I have for him.
I am a believer of mom guilt; however, I refuse to allow it to overtake me again!